Publisher's note: This informational nugget was sent to me by Ben Shapiro, who represents the Daily Wire, and since this is one of the most topical news events, it should be published on BCN.
The author of this post is Amanda Prestigiacomo.
On Wednesday morning, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and the entire government resigned as President Vladimir Putin proposed constitutional changes to potentially extend his rule.
"Russian President Putin on Wednesday proposed a nationwide vote on sweeping constitutional changes that would shift power from the presidency to parliament and the prime minister, a move that could allow him to extend his rule after leaving the Kremlin, Reuters reports,"
NBC News reported.
Following the breaking news, Tass state news agency reported that Medvedev submitted his resignation to Putin. "Russian news agencies said Putin thanked Medvedev for his service, but added that the prime minister's Cabinet failed to fulfill all the objectives set for it,"
noted NBC News.
"Of course these are very serious changes to the political system,"
Putin during his annual state-of-the-union address.
"It would increase the role and significance of the country's Parliament ... of parliamentary parties, and the independence and responsibility of the prime minister,"
the Russian president said, adding a proposal for a nationwide vote on such changes.
According to The Wall Street Journal
, "Mr. Medvedev will stay on as prime minister until the new government is formed, Mr. Putin said on state television. He added that Mr. Medvedev would be offered the newly created post of deputy chairman of Russia's security council."
"The prime minister and government's approval ratings have fallen steadily over the past five years, during which Mr. Putin took credit for most foreign policy decisions and the government was responsible for domestic policy. Over the same period, Russians' living standards have fallen and economic growth has slowed,"
the outlet noted.
"What's happening here? Putin appears to be changing the constitution, including shifting powers to PM, to allow him to continue to rule Russia after term limit as president is up,"
CNN's Jim Sciutto reacted to the news.
Putin has been president or prime minister for nearly two decades, noted NBC. The Russian leader "was due to finish his fourth presidential term in 2024, after which the constitution would bar him from immediately running for president again."
Putin's latest announcement confirms speculation from Russian media outlets that the president would try to stay in power past 2024.
"The main point of Putin's message: what kind of idiots (and/or crooks) are all those who said Putin will leave in 2024,"
posted anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny in response to the news. "Remaining the sole leader for life, taking ownership of an entire country, and appropriating wealth to himself and his friends is the only goal of Putin and his regime."